By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
Not too long ago Ken Murphy was catching fish and winning big bass tournaments around the country. From Florida, to New York, to Arkansas, to Michigan, this talented angler was catching lots of fish and big fish and showing the pros how to do it. His rise to prominence culminated with a big win at Detroit on the St. Clair River.
After several top finishes in the Forrest Wood Cup, Murphy‘s angling prowess was finally stopped cold after a Top three Finish at the FLW Championship. While undergoing personal trials and tribulations, Murphy had a medical situation come up suddenly without warning. Only a lifesaving checkup shortly before he was to leave for a tournament at Lake Norman kept him from heading to the tournament and possibly meeting an untimely demise.
After serious emergency surgery and a tough rehab, Murphy is now back and better than ever and showing people that he is once again a force to be reckoned with on the tournament trail.
Murphy and partner Josh Cameron, a New Orleans native and member of the Mississippi State Bass Team, won the Southern Bass Trail Tournament held last Saturday at Okatibbee Lake and won $1,610.00. Murphy has been mentoring Josh and fellow MSU team member Taylor Odom in the finer points of finding bass on their own, without the use of cell phones, binoculars and other modern day tools.
In fact Murphy found these bass the old fashioned way, by spending time on the water and applying skills honed over a lifetime of fishing. “If you want to consistently catch bass in tournament competition you have to spend time on the water and be able to recognize and read the lake and conditions and be able to locate bass in a short amount of time,” said Murphy. “If you depend on other folks to locate bass for you, you’ll never realize your potential and sooner or later it will come back to haunt you.”
Murphy and Cameron faced brutal conditions, near gale force winds throughout the day that tested even the most seasoned anglers. With the lake coming up six feet in a weeks’ time the water spread the bass out and made for tough fishing, for most of the anglers anyway.
Murphy and Cameron really shined on this day, which was one of the worst days of the year.
“Our fish bit early,” said Murphy. “We actually had a limit by 7:15 and started culling.” Murphy had located an area that had bass holding in grass patches and finessed a few into biting. After checking out another spot up the lake Murphy came back down and went about the business of culling.
There’s only a small difference between winning and losing among the level of anglers on most trails today, and missing a bite or letting one fish get off can be the difference. And that’s where Murphy usually excels due to his attention to minute details such as keeping fresh line, sharp hooks and equipment in top shape.
About midmorning Murphy and Cameron hit the jackpot that enabled them to win. “I was working a swimbait over submerged grass when she hit it,” Murphy said. “She weighed 7.06 pounds and was the biggest I’ve caught in a tournament on Okatibbee.”
Around 12:30 Cameron followed up with a lunker of his own, a football shaped 6.50 pound bass that upgraded their creel by over 4 pounds and sealed the deal as they ultimately won by just over 2 pounds. While Murphy and Cameron faced extreme weather conditions on the lake, they weren’t deterred and overcame the odds when most failed the test by employing tenacity, good decision making and a strong will to win!
Contact Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or e-mail him at email@example.com.